How to Save Money on Groceries During the Holidays


grocery shopping
Couple grocery shopping | gpointstudio/Getty Images

The holidays are a time for friends, family, and food. The only thing is, buying food for a large family gathering can be hard on your wallet. How can you feed your loved ones for the holiday without going broke? We’ve got some money-saving holiday tips for you. Here’s how to save money on groceries during the holidays.

Have friends and family members contribute to the bill

If you’re hosting a big dinner and money is tight, consider asking friends and family to contribute to the grocery bill. Buying food for a large family dinner is expensive, so you’ll need all the help you can get. Make your request well in advance, so your dinner guests aren’t caught off guard. This also gives you a chance to make a second request for contributions if some people forget to give you money toward the food bill.

Have guests bring meals

Take some of the pressure off yourself (and your wallet) by asking for food contributions. If some people can’t afford to contribute much money, request beverages, meals, or side dishes. Every little bit helps. If some of your guests aren’t handy around the kitchen, ask if they could bring a dessert from a local bakery or supermarket.

Simplify your menu

You don’t have to get fancy with your dinner. All that matters is your loved ones are together to share a special day. Chances are they won’t even remember what you cooked days later. Another option is to simplify your meal. Cooking simpler dishes with fewer ingredients will save time and money. This way, you won’t spend a lot and you’ll be able to enjoy more of your evening with friends and family. Another bonus is you’ll have fewer dishes to wash. It’s a win-win all around.

Look for deals

Take time to look for grocery deals and coupons. Some grocery stores post their circulars online, so you can see what’s on sale before you go to the store. Compare prices among the stores so you’ll know where to get the best price. Also, sign up for emails from department stores such as Target and Walmart so you can see the holiday grocery deals. You might be surprised to see competitive prices compared to your local grocery store.

Final tips

  • Establish a holiday grocery budget. Set a dollar amount for your meal and try to stick with it. This way, you won’t overspend during your shopping trip.
  • Make a list of what you need to buy. It’s tempting to throw things in your cart that you don’t need. Go through the ingredients for each meal and add the ones you need to your list.
  • Know when you need assistance. If holiday grocery shopping is truly a financial burden right now, consider having another family member host the dinner. There’s no shame if you’ve fallen on hard times. Ask for help if you need it.

Read more: How to Save Money on Holiday Gifts

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